Step Outside - Indiana WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Indiana 144 144 Sat, 02 Dec 2023 00:20:56 -0600 Best Places to Fish in the Midwest This Fall Walleyes and a variety of salmon are on the autumn menu in the Midwest as anglers have a last chance to fish open water before the winter freeze starts to set in. Fishing for either species can be excellent; how the weather and the water temperatures line up are more critical where salmon are concerned, but the fall run extends well into November.

Walleyes aren’t so picky, and all the traditional waters such as the Mississippi River, Big Saint Germain Lake in Wisconsin, Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota and Great Lakes feeder streams give up tons of  ’eyes in the fall.

One Last Salmon Fling

The big attraction nowadays is king (chinook) salmon that make their fall spawning runs up rivers and creeks. Whether fishing from a small boat or a Great Lakes charter boat, latching on to a 20- or 30-pound king can quickly warm up an otherwise chilly fall day.

Hot Spots To Fish: Michigan’s Grand River, which empties into the eastern side of Michigan, is a prime destination for salmon. Getting Bit Guide Service (616-570-2946, in Grand Rapids is a good starting point. In fact, any port of call along Lake Michigan on either the east or west sides is likely to have plenty of knowledgeable salmon guides or charters. Fishing from jetties or piers – such as the famed McKinley Pier in Milwaukee – is also productive during the fall salmon runs.

In northwestern New York, the Salmon River lives up to its name through mid-October, but the run might linger into November in the Lake Ontario feeder, depending on the weather. Coho and steelheads also are in the mix too.

The Yankee Angler (315-963-2065, in Pulaski, N.Y. keeps tabs on the fishing. In the big waters of Lake Ontario’s southern shore at Rochester, N.Y., give Reel Em In Sportfishing Charters (585-317-5325, a call.

Farther to the northwest, the waters and feeders of Lake Superior near Sault Ste. Marie are teeming with big salmon. One of the benefits here is that you can always slip in to the St. Mary’s River System to get away from those rough autumn nor’ westers. Live To Fish Charters (906-440-7797) can help make it happen.

New York rivers and inshore waters are teeming with big salmon in the fall.

Tackle You’ll Need: Salmon tackle and striped bass tackle (see above) are practically interchangeable. Fish might range from a few pounds to well over 20 pounds, and rods and reels should be in the medium- to-heavy range. A light- to-medium spinning outfit capable of holding a couple of hundred yards of 10- to 14-pound-test monofilament or 30- to 50-pound-test braid should do for most applications, especially when casting lures. Try the Okuma Epixor XT-20 with a matching rod.

Quick Tip: Just to hedge your bets, tie a foot-long section of 2x mono to your streamer hook and add a beadhead Prince nymph or similar pattern to the other end. When salmon are finicky, they might flash at a streamer, but not take it. Sometimes, a smaller mouthful such as a nymph trailer will seal the deal.


Best Lures/Bait: For the most part, spawn-run salmon hit spoons, crankbaits or roe bags out of reaction rather than hunger. Shiny lures, such as the Luhr-Jensen Twinky Rig behind a flasher, the Acme Kastmaster Spoon and a variety of soft-plastic swimbaits or hard crankbaits, will elicit strikes. Fly fishermen favor Dahlberg Divers, Wooly Buggers, Hex Nymphs and Glo Bugs.

Find the best fishing spots near you:

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Walleyes Are Hungry and Willing

In similar fashion to bass, walleyes follow baitfish from the bigger lakes to feeder creeks and rivers with current.

Hot Spots To Fish: The Van Hook Arm of Lake Sakakawea (701-421-0360, in North Dakota is a prime walleye destination, as is Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago (920-598-0586,

Tackle You’ll Need: Power fishing it’s not. Though walleyes might fatten up to well over 10 pounds, 2- to 4-pound fish are more the rule. Depending on the average size of the fish, 4- to 10-pound-test monofilament or fluorocarbon will do.

For spinning enthusiasts, the Quantum Vapor PT with matching rod will work. If you prefer trolling to casting, or bouncing a weight and natural bait on the bottom, try a baitcasting outfit such as a Fenwick/Pflueger Night Hawk or Iron Hawk combo.

Quick tip: Trolling at night with diving jerkbaits, such as the Storm Original ThunderStick or Lucky Craft Pointer 110, is a great way to catch walleyes. Troll in patterns from deep to shallow and back again, as the fish tend to relocate up and down drop-offs and channel runs depending on bait movement.


Best Lures/Bait: Leeches, nightcrawlers, minnows and everything from crankbaits to spinners will find favor with hungry fall walleyes. Top picks include: Rapala’s Shad Rap, Berkley’s Flicker Shad, Mepps’ Black Fury, Rapala’s Husky Jerk and Northland Fishing Tackle’s Forage Minnow Jigging Spoon.

Photograph Courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources Walleyes weighing more than 10 pounds apiece are routinely caught in the fall, but most fish are "good eating size," averaging about 3 pounds. Sun, 26 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0600
5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Indiana Imagine riding on an ATV through some of Indiana’s most beautiful landscapes. Feel the rush of the wind and smell nature as it whisks past you. Here in Indiana, ATV off-roading is a popular past time and a hobby that many indulge in, especially in the more rural areas of the state. Check out these five cool spots for ATV off-roading in Indiana. 

A former coal mine which straddles Pike and Warrick counties, Interlake State Recreation Area is home to 3,550 acres and over 100 miles of trails where those who love ATV off-roading can come and enjoy themselves. Located in Lynnville, Indiana, there are a variety of trails for the off-road vehicle lovers, horse riders, hikers, and mountain bikers alike. Interlake also offers a diverse landscape with incredible views. 

Another former coal mine, Redbird State Recreation Area is home to 1,400 acres and has miles of trails for all skill levels. The trails are open seven days a week, sunrise to sunset but may be closed due to hazardous conditions and weather. If you happen to encounter issues such as broken cables or battery issues, there is a station nearby to purchase supplies.

Another great off-roading site for ATV fun is Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana. Open seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, this family-friendly park sits on 750 acres of rural Indiana. However, hours for off-roading activities are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Haspin Acres requires all riders to wear a helmet and seat belt on the appropriate vehicles. Need a spare part or have a broken cable? Check out the small parts and accessories shop, belonging to Mr. Skids. There is also a small restaurant on the property, The Stone Hearth Grill, in case you get hungry. Gale’s World Famous Chili is a favorite among those who visited!

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The Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana, is a privately-owned area consisting of 800 acres, and its mission is to provide an awesome experience. One thing that sets the Badlands apart from others throughout Indiana is that they have specific areas dedicated to beginners where they can practice and learn to ride their vehicles. Don’t feel like taking the mess home with you after a long day of riding? Jump in and enjoy a shower in one of their six private showers! Feeling hungry? Check out Bob’s Burgers and enjoy the infamous Sasquatch Burger!

Nashville, Indiana, is the place to be this summer! With its breathtaking scenery and some of the most rugged hills and terrains in Indiana, eXplore Brown County eat is an ATV lover’s dream! With over 1,000 acres, eXplore offers a variety of outdoor activities. From zip-lining to paintball, mountain biking, and so much more! One thing that sets this place apart from others is that guided ATV and dune buggy tours are available year-round, weather permitting. This is nice, especially for those who may not be experienced ATV riders. You can also bring your own ATV for the tour. Because it is a retreat center, it offers other attractions such as a day spa and salon, three wineries, as well as a nature preserve and art galleries. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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5 Amazing Dirt Motorcycle Trails in Indiana When the weather is nice, Indiana affords some of the most scenic and satisfying challenges in its dirt biking trails. Imagine the freeing feeling of racing through the wilderness—nothing quite compares to it. Be sure to check out the local regulations before you head out, but these spots allow you to truly let loose. Here are five amazing dirt motorcycle trails in Indiana! 

Head on over to Lawrence County Recreational Park in Springville, Indiana, this summer and experience some of the best trails Indiana has to offer! With over 60 miles of trails, there is a trail for everyone—from beginner to experienced. Ride through the open fields and feel the need for speed. Better year, check out LCRP’s well-maintained gravel roads. And for those who are completely new to dirt biking, check out LCRP’s “Dirt Bike School,” in which you get hands-on training and learn the techniques to stay safe, be responsible, and most of all, have fun! One thing to note: LCRP’s trails are strictly confined to dirt bikes and ATVs. No dune buggies or monster trucks and Jeeps to be found here! You can ride without worry. Before leaving, make sure to check out the Indiana Motorcycle Safety Memorial and Walk of Remembrance, located at the entrance.

Head out to Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana, for a thrilling day. With over 800 acres, the views are absolutely breathtaking! The park offers multiple types of terrain and trails for all levels of riders. If you don’t have a bike or don’t feel like bringing your own, not to worry. BORP offers rentals at affordable rates! Are you more of a racer than a trail rider? Check out BORP’s full size MX track and put your skills to the test! Hungry after your ride? Check out Bob’s Burgers for some delicious, home-cooked food! Finding that you’re a bit sweaty and covered in dirt after your ride? One of the perks at BORP is that private showers are offered on site. 

Check out the Redbird State Recreation Area in Linton, Indiana, for all your dirt biking needs! Trails are open seven days a week, year-round, as long as weather permits. With over 1,400 acres, Redbird was named after the Redbird Coal Mine and offers diverse trails for riders of all levels of experience. When riding, keep your eyes open for the more sensitive areas of land and reclamation areas. 

Located just outside the city of Muncie, Indiana, is Prairie Creek Reservoir. With just over 50 acres, PCR offers several ATV trails, gravel pits and mud. It might not seem challenging to those who are more experienced, but for those that consider themselves to be beginners, Prairie Creek Reservoir is an excellent place to start your dirt biking adventure! There are very few steep hills and jumps, which makes it easy to navigate. Ride along the sandy shore of Prairie Creek and take some time to admire the views while mastering your skills.

Another excellent place for the dirt biking enthusiast is Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana. With 750 acres of hills and trails, Haspin Acres is the place to be. For those that prefer racing over trail riding, Haspin Acres offers a 300-foot drag strip, as well as two mud pits. There is also a motocross track that is over a mile long with step ups over 110 feet! This lovely place is surrounded by acres and acres of forest and is rustic Indiana at its finest. Children are allowed at the track, but must be accompanied by their parents and have signed waivers if under the age of 18. If something breaks on your bike, be sure to stop by and see Mr. Skids for repairs. Feeling hungry? Check out the Stone Hearth Grill for some delicious home cooking!  

LesPalenik/ Sat, 18 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0600
10 Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Indiana! The Hoosier State is blessed with a host of beautiful and varied landscapes perfect for exploring with your pup! From woodlands and prairies, to wetlands and creeks, there are countless trails for man’s best friend to explore in Indiana. Here are 10 of the best dog friendly hiking trails in Indiana your furry friend will love.

A 75 acre park spread between wetlands, reforestation, grasslands, and a local tree walk, Beckenholdt Park offers a variety of trails for your pup to explore. The park also features a membership only Rover's Run Dog Park, as well as a pavilion and amphitheater.

Spread over 5,100 acres on the banks of the Ohio River, Charlestown State Park offers a scenic hike with your dog while exploring native plant life and wildlife. Make memories, leave only paw prints!

This 80-acre park provides a extensive nature trail for you and your furry family member. The park features a variety of landscapes and habitats, as well as 4 different ponds. Cool off after your latest dog friendly adventure.

This park offers a great chance for your pup to explore a unique landscape. Trails offer glimpses of former World War II prisoner of war camps amongst the natural foliage. History and nature collide in this Indianapolis park!

Named after the endangered Indiana bat, this park features over 3.5 miles of trails, picnic areas, and a 5.5-acre pond. Sodalis Nature Park is a great place to explore with your furry companion. Don’t miss your chance to explore with your pup, and have a blast.

At over 15,000 acres, this is the largest park in Indiana. Your pup will love trekking the varied terrains and touring the many glens and ravines throughout the park.

This 157-acre preserve offers a variety of landscapes, from wetlands to woodlands, as well as a wildflower meadow. Trails run along the lake and through the woodlands, providing your canine companion with an exciting exploration through nature. Dog friendly exploration is taken to the next level at Coffee Creek.

Descending into ravines, walking along woodland paths and admiring the shelter house built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, your pup will love this trail. With so much room to explore, it’s no wonder dog owners keep coming back to Freedom Trail Park.

This trail offers a historical insight into the area, as well as a forested trail for you and your pup. Experience a stunning lakeside hike with your dog by your side, be sure to capture the lasting memories from your amazing time.

Walk along Sugar Creek with your pup while they marvel at the park’s many sandstone ravines and centuries old forests. They won’t be able to resist wandering the vat expanse that awaits!

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5 Energizing Hikes in Indiana No matter the time of year, Indiana is a gorgeous place to hike. For the more advanced or intermediate hiker, these energizing hikes will put you to the test. And before you hike, remember to pack the essentials: water, food, bug spray, cameras, and extra layers just in case!

One of the best trails of the Hoosier National Forest is the Two Lakes Trail. The trail is over 15.5 miles-long and offers amazing views of the Indian and Celina Lakes. It also forms a figure eight around both lakes. The trail features hardwood forests and there are many steep slopes. Visitors will encounter all walks of wildlife along the trail. Visitors can opt to hike the trail two ways: taking the full outer loop of the trail which is the full 15.5 miles, or they can hike the eight-mile loop around either lake. 

The Harrison-Crawford State forest is among the most beautiful places to trek during the fall. The changing leaves of this 24,000-acre rugged hardwood forest makes for an excellent backdrop for a hike. For something a bit more challenging, opt to navigate the Rocky Ridge Trail. This hike starts at the fire tower and moves west for an incredible two-mile adventure.

Falls Canyon Trail inside McCormick’s Creek State Park (Trail 3 on the park’s official website) is a challenging but beloved trail for Hoosiers. The terrain is filled with hills and as you pass through, there are many creek crossings. Be sure to check the weather before crossing as sometimes the water levels rise enough to make this part impassable. Visitors will also see something a bit unusual and not widely found across Indiana: a beautiful waterfall. Visitors will also see the amazing amount of limestone Indiana has throughout its southern parts. The more limestone you see, that’s usually a good indication of more hills and slopes to come! This trail is just under a mile and is considered rugged, so come prepared. 

Considered to be a moderately difficult trail, Bloodroot Trail is part of Salamonie Lake near Andrew, Indiana. The trail is 13 miles long and starts at the Salamonie Interpretive Center. From there, visitors can hike through fields and woods to the Mount Etna State Recreation Area and hike the bluffs that overlook the gorgeous lake. The trail has steep hills and valleys, and visitors should take care to stay on the marked trails to avoid getting lost. 

Located in southern Indiana is the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. The park is more than 24,000 acres encompassing Morgan and Monroe counties, and has many steep ridges, valleys, and some of the finest trees around Indiana. For the more experienced hikers, Three Lakes Trail and the Low Gap Trail are the most popular here. Both trails are about 10 miles long, and have long, large hills with switchbacks in between. As visitors walk, they will also see some of the most beautiful views the forest has to offer, especially in the fall. 

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SPOTLIGHT: Bass & Bucks Fri, 10 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0600 SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Brown County State Park Indiana has a range of beautiful state parks to visit, but perhaps the most popular destination for Hoosiers and visitors alike is Brown County State Park in southern Nashville, Indiana. Not only is the park big and breathtaking, but Nashville makes for an excellent city to explore after your outdoor adventure. For impressive art galleries, cozy bakeries, and bluegrass music parks, here are some great things to do in and around Brown County State Park.  

This state park is THE hiking destination in Indiana, with over 70 miles of bridled trails for the equestrian enthusiasts, and over 18 miles of hiking trails for hikers of all levels of experience. The park also offer year-round camping, where visitors can enjoy the park’s two lakes, one used for swimming and the other for fishing during the summer, and ice fishing during the winter. For the little ones, try the park’s nature center, where they can learn about the park’s various wildlife such as white-tailed deer, raccoons, gray squirrels, and even wild turkeys! And though Brown County State Park is, without a doubt, the most popular attraction in Nashville, there are other things to do and see as well! 

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The first stop on your journey through Nashville should be the Brown County Art Gallery. The gallery was founded in 1926, and features over 400 paintings and artifacts in its Permanent Collection. Many of the original artists donated paintings and other items to create an ongoing exhibit, which is what visitors see today. Ninety years later, the gallery is still going strong and features the work of early Indiana artists, such as Gustave Baumann and William Zimmerman. 

For all the bluegrass fans out there, this is the place to be! The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground is home of the Bill Monroe Memorial Bluegrass Festival, which is the oldest, and continuous, running bluegrass festival in the world. It’s also the home of the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum. Throughout the year, the park and campground hosts eight musical events, from bluegrass to blues, gospel and rock-n-roll. Bring the whole family, some lawn chairs, and pack a picnic as you enjoy the sounds of live music in the campground’s wooden amphitheater. All shows are held rain or shine!

For something more relaxing and enjoyable, head to the Brown County Winery, located deep in the rolling hills of Nashville. The winery is committed to providing their customers with outstanding, high quality and most importantly, local wine, as well as an educational and enjoyable experience. The winery offers complimentary, daily tastings of their different wines and of course, before you leave, be sure to purchase a bottle or case of your favorite wine! The Vista White Wine or the Traminette, one of Indiana’s signature wines, are highly recommended.

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A surprise visit from friends 🤗🤗

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Another must-see destination in Nashville is the Brown County Playhouse, a 425-seat venue for a variety of entertainment, including concerts, live theatre, the latest movies, community events, festivals, and so much more. Popular shows include the Shimmy and Shake featuring a mixture of traditional belly dancing and modern music, Twist the Night Away in which visitors old and young can relive the music of the 1950s, and of course, Brown County’s very own Rich Hill’s World of Magic.

If you should ever be in Nashville and find yourself hungry and craving something good to eat, look no further than the Hobnob Corner Restaurant, an artisan inspired restaurant located in heart of Nashville. Step inside and be surrounded by rustic, historic charm, history, and some of the most delicious handmade, house-made food. Try a delicious cheeseburger or one of Indiana’s famous breaded tenderloin sandwiches, or one of the Hobnob specialties. Spinach lasagna or pot roast, anyone? And for dessert, try one of their delicious Chocolate Temptations!

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Craving a snack? Then you must visit the Carmel Corn Cottage, specializing in one of a kind, unique carmel corns. This charming little shop sits at the north end of Nashville on Van Buren street, and visitors can smell the caramel cooking over a mile away. The staff is extremely friendly and provide exceptional customer service. The shop offers 10 different types of caramel to choose from, as well as other flavors such as dill, maple and bacon. They also have some pooch corn for your furry four-legged friend! It’s truly one of a kind!

Bring Fido to this one of a kind doggie bakery in Nashville on your next trip, or at least be sure to bring back a few treats! The Bone Appetit offers over 20 flavors of premium, all natural dog treats made right here in the USA. The treats come in a variety of shapes, textures, and sizes. They also have treats for dogs who have dietary restrictions. When you choose a treat for your own dog, be sure to choose one to have sent to the Brown County Humane Society as well and save up to 90 percent. 

For all the craft lovers out there, come to Nashville’s one of kind, premier stamping and scrapbooking store! Wishful Thinking offers high-quality scrapbooking and stamping supplies you might not find in other stores. Wishful Thinking began in 2001 but it wasn’t until the following year that the store really took off thanks to owner Marlene Miller. Now, it’s the best place to find those unique, one of a kind craft supplies! The store also offers classes and other special events such as Artist Trading Swap, monthly card classes, and more.

For something a bit more unique, come visit the Emerald Pencil, a gallery of original art, gift cards, and curious things such as drawings, jewelry, vintage clothing and more. The Emerald Pencil is a tale of times past, furnished by creator Pamela Keech, who helps tell the stories of immigrant families by recreating their homes. It’s truly a unique sight to behold, and one everyone must see passing through Nashville!

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5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Indiana There is nothing more relaxing than a hike. Walking through the wilderness, breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sound of wildlife scurrying by and overhead. Indiana is well known for the numerous areas to hike, and some of them have the most breathtaking scenes. If you are ever in the mood for a hike and want some beautiful pictures, take a trip to these five areas!

Considered to be Indiana’s best kept secret, Pine Hills Nature Preserve is one of the most beautiful places for a scenic hike in Indiana. The preserve was Indiana’s first dedicated nature preserve, and offers hills, gorges, sandstone bluffs with soaring evergreens and other trees, such as hemlock, white pine, Canada yews, oak, and more. As you hike, you will also see varying species of wildflowers, ferns, and other rare, exotic plants. There are five different trails to hike here at Pine Hills: Turkey Backbone, Woolen Mill and Mill Cut which takes you past the old Pine Hill Woolen Mill site, The Slide, named because of the many rock slides that have occurred over the years, Devil’s Backbone, a steep trail that is six feet-wide and 100 feet-high. If you are hiking with small children, avoid this trail. Last but not least is Honeycomb Rock. As you hike through this area, you will see a wall composed of complete sandstone that is over 300 million years-old. This area is truly rustic Indiana at its finest, and definitely worth the trip!

Just off Interstate 69 near Anderson, Indiana, is Mounds State Park. Here you will find unique structures of earth built by the Adena-Hopewell Indians. The largest structure, the Great Mound, is thought to have been constructed in 160 B.C. The “mounds,” as they are known, were used as gathering places for religious ceremonies. The park has six different hiking trails, ranging from easy to rugged. As you hike, you will see the White River and limestone bluffs, views of the picnic areas, as well as the spectacular Bronnenberg House, which belonged to the Bronnenberg family, one of the earliest settlers in the area. Be on the lookout for wildlife as you hike, watching for songbirds and waterfowl and water life. 

If you are looking for someplace that is peaceful, tranquil, and relaxing, look no further than Shades State Park. This area is a particular favorite of hikers and who could blame them? From the beautiful sandstone cliffs that overlook Sugar Creek and dozens of shady ravines, Shades State Park is breathtaking. The trails range in levels from easy to extreme. Hike through Lover’s Leap and continue down to the Steamboat Rock stairs and up into the Pearl Ravine streambed. At times though this trail may be impassable due to high water so watch for signs! You can also hike through Frisz Ravine and see the beautiful, tall beach, oak, and tulip trees. The easiest trail travels across the Red Fox Ravine, and be on the lookout for red foxes!

Charlestown State Park is located in southern Indiana, and is over 15,000 acres. This particularly hiking area is for the avid bird watcher. Watchers can see over 72 species of birds, from bluebirds, black vultures, and the occasional bald eagle if you are lucky! As you hike, you cross Fourteen Mile Creek in some areas. On the opposite side, you can view the creek from 100 feet above the water! Hikers will also see glimpses of the Ohio River and Twelvemile Island, as well as waterfalls! Note that this area is for the more experienced hiker. 

Established in 1903, the Clark State Forest is the oldest state forest in Indiana. Since its founding, the area has grown to 24,000 acres. The area was used as an experimental forest for many years, and many of those trees can still be seen from various areas throughout. There are three different trails to choose from: White Oak Nature, Resource Trail, and Knobstone Trail. The White Oak Nature trail is less than a mile, and is 143 acres. The Resource Trail is a mile long, and here you will see trees such as pignut hickory, white oak, and sugar maple. This trail is also prone to wildlife, so be on the lookout for birds, toads, and snakes! The last trail, Knobstone Trail, is 59 miles of pure back country, and crosses between Clark State Forest, Elk Creek, and Jackson Washington State Forest.

Wildnerdpix/ Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 -0600
ATV Off-Roading Adventure with eXplore Brown County There are a few places in Indiana for a prime ATV off-roading experience, and among the best is eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat. Located in Nashville, Indiana, the town not only offers great off-roading opportunities but plenty of great places to fill up your belly and relax, too. Let’s make an adventure of your visit to eXplore Brown County! 

For organic, fair trade coffee and loose teas, start your day at Common Grounds Coffee Bar & Tea Shoppe. In addition to serving some of Nashville’s best coffee and tea, the shoppe also has a unique selection of collectibles and antiques. The service is fast and friendly with a small town feel where everybody knows your name, and your drink order. The chairs are comfortable, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the coffee is delicious. Come for the coffee, and leave feeling like one of the family.

For a great breakfast, come to Hobnob Corner Restaurant, located in the heart of Nashville. When you walk inside, visitors find themselves surrounded by history, charm, and homemade food. A family owned and operated restaurant since 1979, their mission is to make their customers feel comfortable and cozy while serving up some of the most delicious foods. Though the menu may be small, the portions are huge. Try a delicious western omelet, or the Loggers Hash. They also offer huevos rancheros, and some of the most mouth-watering, soft and fluffy Buttermilk pancakes! This is a great way to fill up before your big day out. 

The best place for ATV off-roading is at eXplore Brown County at Valley Branch Retreat. This place is an ATV lover’s dream. The retreat has over 1,000 acres and a variety of outdoor activities including zip-lining, mountain biking, ATV off-roading, and so much more. One of the things that makes eXplore stand out is guided ATV and dune buggy tours available year-round, weather permitting. If you are not an experienced ATV rider or don’t feel comfortable riding on your own, this is a nice option to still get the ATV experience but with a knowledgeable guide. If you have your own ATV, feel free to bring it! The retreat also offers attractions such as a day spa, salon, three wineries, art galleries, and a nature preserve. If you choose so, you can also stay on site, as the retreat has many hotels and inns.

What better way to cap off a long day on the trails than with some delicious pizza! Their signature pies are absolutely to die for. Choose from options such as the “Big Woods,” made with pork sausage, roasted garlic, asiago cheese, and mozzarella over marinara sauce. Or try “the Forager,” made with “all the fixins” including marinara, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, bacon, mushroom, green pepper, onion, black olives, and mozzarella. It doesn’t get heartier than that! 

This location is Brown County’s premier live music spot! At the Pine Room Tavern, you’ll find an extensive wine list, nine beers on tap, and live music seven nights a week—including both local songwriters and national acts! Unwind after your long day with a couple of brews and great live music. 

If you’re looking to stay someplace that resembles quaint southern hospitality and can transport you back in time, look no further than the Cornerstone Inn. In December 1939, Frederic Tilton and his wife bought a tiny house at the end of West Main Street, and not long after, they purchased Lot 10, which was later deeded to the Tilton family nearly 50 years later. In 1993, the lot was cleared for what is now known as the Cornerstone Inn. The inn has three retail shops on the first floor, a museum on the lower level, and guest rooms on the second and third floors. Here at the Cornerstone Inn, there are dozens of rooms to choose from, each with its own unique set of features and charm. Visitors can also choose to stay at the inn’s offsite vacation cabin, which is rustic living at its finest. No matter which room you choose to stay in, the Cornerstone Inn will captivate visitors with its history and charm. 

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5 Exhilarating Jet Skiing Spots in Indiana Don’t be fooled by Indiana being a landlocked state—we love our watersports! Indiana is home to over 80 beautiful lakes, so there is plenty of open water just waiting to be explored. So get ready for some thrilling fun on the water with these five awesome jet skiing spots in the state. 

Up in northern Indiana, close to the Pokagon State Park and Fort Wayne, is Lake James. A naturally formed glacial lake, Lake James has over 1,200 acres of recreational waters that are used for boating, fishing, water skiing and other water sports, such as jet skiing. Between the hours of sun up to sun down, visitors to Lake James can enjoy the beautiful waters and feel the wind in their hair as they roar down the lake on a jet ski. 

Another great area in Indiana for watersports is Patoka Lake, near historic French Lick and West Baden in southern Indiana. With over 20,000 acres of land and water, Patoka Lake is a must-see this summer. The lake itself is a little over 8,000 acres and is home to freshwater jelly fish and bald eagle nesting sites. It also the second largest reservoir in Indiana. It has a mild beach feel to it and you almost forget that you are in the Midwest. Before you take off, be sure to check out Bobber the Water Dog for water safety instructions, tips, and tricks! Check out Hoosier Hills Marina, which now rents Yamaha WaveRunners. 

Located about 10 miles southeast of southern Bloomington, Indiana, is the beautiful and picturesque Monroe Lake (also known to some as Lake Monroe or Monroe Reservoir). The lake itself is over 10,000 acres but the whole area is over 23,000 acres. Monroe Lake is Indiana’s largest inland lake and was built in 1965. Here you can camp, water ski, jet ski, and enjoy so many other water-based activities! The area itself is breathtaking, and in many areas, it can feel as though you’ve landed on your own private island surrounded by beautiful trees, water, and nature. If you don’t have your own jet ski, be sure to visit Lake Monroe Boat Rental just off State Road 446!

Located in northern Peru, Indiana, is Mississinewa Lake or Lake Mississinewa. A little over 14,000 acres total with 3,200 of that being lake acreage, Lake Mississinewa is a favorite of the locals in northern Indiana, including Kokomo. It’s a flood-controlled reservoir, and is perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want to drive far but want the beach. It’s also perfect for camping with over 400 campsites and family cabins. Enjoy the feeling as you cruise through the open waters and take in some of the wildlife. When you arrive, you will have to pay an entrance fee, so keep that in mind. And before you leave, be sure to check out Southside Scoops Ice Cream Parlor!

Located in northern Monticello, Indiana, is Lake Shafer. Most Hoosiers know Lake Shafer to be the home of Indiana Amusement Park and Beach (Indiana Beach to the locals). Lake Shafer is also known for its many water park activities, including jet skiing. It is one of two reservoirs in Monticello, and shares its location with Lake Freeman. It’s a great place for a weekend getaway or a short vacation, as there are numerous cottages and cabins available for rent. Be sure to visit Indiana Beach while you are there. Visit Lake Shafer Boat Rentals to rent a WaveRunner at a reasonable rate! 

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5 Great Hiking Trails in Indiana When the weather is nice in Indiana, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the state’s natural beauty than taking on one of its excellent hiking trails with the family. Now, a day on the trail can be strenuous for little legs and hikers with minimal experience. Not to worry! There are plenty of trails across the state suitable for all levels of skill—hiking trails that everyone in the family will enjoy. Here are five excellent hiking trails in the state. 

Indiana is considered a land-locked state, meaning there are no oceans nearby. While that may be true, Indiana does offer a beach bum’s paradise near Michigan called the Indiana Dunes State Park (or to most, Indiana Dunes or simply The Dunes). One of the best things about the Dunes is its abundance of hiking trails, especially of the family friendly variety. While some are labeled as more moderate or rugged, the easy hiking trails are highly accessible for the young ones. One of the easiest hiking trails in the area is three miles in length, and is truly whimsical during early spring. Hikers will be surrounded by beautiful flowers and ferns on this trek. 

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Strawtown Koteewi Park is Hamilton County’s hidden gem. Located just to the east of Cicero, the park is 750 acres, and offers everything from hiking to cycling trails, trail riding for the equestrians (including pony rides for the little ones), as well as canoeing and archery. Everyone in the family will love this one. 

Nutty's Grand Adventure part 1

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Another popular area to go hiking in Indiana is Brown County State Park, near Nashville, Indiana. Nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of its close resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains. Brown County State Park boasts 16,000 acres. The most popular time to visit Brown County is in the fall when the leaves change colors. During the summer though, visitors can hike or bike through the numerous trails, as well as take guided trail rides. For the family, check out the playgrounds and nature center, as well as the swimming pool! For lodging, try the Abe Martin Lodge which has motel rooms and cabins, as well as an indoor water park!

Located in North Liberty, Indiana, Potato Creek State Park is about 12 miles southwest of South Bend. The park offers six different trail levels from beginner to advanced, as well as bicycle and mountain biking trails. The park also offers a swimming area, bridle trails, nature centers, and playgrounds. 

Clifty Falls is the place to be in the summer. Located in Madison, Indiana, Clifty Falls State Park features miles and miles of hiking trails and beautiful scenery throughout. A dedicated hiker’s dream is Clifty Falls. For the children, there is a swimming pool and waterslide as well as the nature center. 

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5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in Indiana Trail running is a popular activity for those seeking to get fit in Indiana. There are many trails to choose from, some within state parks, others are hidden gems. From spring until fall, here are five awesome trail running spots in Indiana!

The first trail running spot that should be on your list is the Mason Ridge Loop. The trail is part of the Morgan-Monroe State Park, located in southern Martinsville, Indiana. The trail is roughly three miles and is deemed moderate. It offers spectacular views of the changing leaves, as well as nearby lakes. If Fido enjoys running with you, the trail also allows dogs if they are kept on a leash. 

If you’ve never been to the Indiana Dunes up in northern Indiana, this is a prime spot for trail running. The West Beach 3-Loop Trail covers roughly 3.5 miles, but you can break apart the trek as you’d like. Dogs are also allowed, so be sure to bring your pup with you! The views on this trail are amazing. From the beaches to the sloping sand dunes, everywhere you turn on this trail there is something to see. 

The White River Trail near Anderson, Indiana, is known for having some of the most beautiful, natural land and wetland areas. There is an abundance of flowers and other plants, perfect for taking pictures as you run and absorb the sights. The trail is most beautiful in the springtime, especially when the flowers and plants are at their peak. As you run, you’ll see plenty of green and an assortment of wildlife. The view of the White River is spectacular, and it’s recommended to stop for a moment and enjoy the peaceful rustling as the river trickles by. There are also benches nearby if you find yourself needing a break.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Greenway Trail, also known as the C&O Trail, is just under two miles-long. The trail runs through the town of Merillville, which is in northern Indiana. In one part of the trail there is a pedestrian bridge which runs over Turkey Creek, and the other part of the trail goes through popular shopping areas in northern Indiana. Along the way, the trail divides into a more wooded area, which is absolutely breathtaking as you find yourself surrounded by trees. The C&O Trail runs diagonally, and the views are aplenty on this trail. From city to wilderness, there is so much to see. 

The Oak Savannah Trail is in northern Indiana, and is roughly nine miles-long. Runners travel between Hobart and Griffith in northern Indiana, which is known as Indiana’s Chicago metropolitan area. First-time visitors might not realize there are hundreds of natural areas one will encounter along the trail. See the old Porter Branch of the Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railway. Run by 300 acres belonging to the Hobart Prairie Grove of Indiana Dunes, which takes you to the edge of the beautiful Lake George. The farther you go into the trail, it becomes more of an urban setting before changing back to quiet forest and prairie-like settings. 

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5 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Indiana There is nothing more peaceful than birdwatching. Being surrounded by nature, listening to the calls of the various species of birds, and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. In Indiana, there are many spots to choose from that are perfect for birdwatching and here are the five best birdwatching hikes for all the bird lovers out there!

With over 8,000 acres of wetland, upland, and woodland habitats, the Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area near Medaryville, Indiana, is the prime spot for birdwatchers. The area provides an ideal stop over for birds that are migrating, particularly sandhill cranes. The best time to see the cranes is near sunrise, when the birds fly out of the marshes to the nearby Goose Pasture and surrounding areas to feed, and then again at sunset, when the cranes migrate back to Goose Pasture and the surrounding marshes.

Sandhill Cranes

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Another popular spot in Indiana for birdwatching is the Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife area in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. The area is nestled between the Ohio River and the Wabash River floodplains in southern Indiana. There are over 7,000 acres, with 1,400 of those acres made up of sloughs, marshes, and bottomland hardwood forest areas. Here, birdwatchers can see a variety of songbirds, raptors, and other waterfowl through the birdwatching observation area available to visitors. 

Head down to southern Morocco, Indiana, to find some of the best birdwatching that Indiana has to offer. The area is over 9,000 acres, with over 1,000 acres of open water, marshes, and flooded crop areas. Because of its enormous amount of wetlands available, the Willow Slough area attracts a variety of birds and other waterfowl. From gulls and terns, herons, grassland birds, warblers, swallows and more, there are so many birds to see at Willow Slough. Occasionally visitors will see rare species of birds such Ross’s goose, black rail, yellow-headed blackbird, and even a few osprey and bald eagles from time to time. It’s also the perfect place to hear the owls sing their songs at night. 

The Indiana Dunes State Park located in northern Chesterton, Indiana, is the perfect place for birdwatchers. The southern tip is an important area for feeding and resting migrating birds. Because of its location, the Dunes attracts a variety of bird species and influences their migrating patterns, such as black and white warblers, laughing gull, Connecticut warblers, yellow-billed cuckoo, and many more. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced birdwatcher, Indiana Dunes is the best place to be. Be sure to take part in the Indiana Dunes Bird Watching Festival, a four-day event in which avid birdwatchers come from around the world to see migrating birds and discover new species.   

Owned and operated by the City of Indianapolis, Eagle Creek Park is the largest park in Central Indiana at just over 5,000 acres. It’s made up of various upland and wetland habits, and is regarded as being a critical location for breeding, migrating, and over-wintering bird populations thanks to the park’s size, diversity of habitat, and a large body of water within the park. Of the many birds and other waterfowl that reside within and migrate to the park are several endangered species, such as red-shouldered hawks, black and white warblers, as well as hooded warblers, which are extremely rare for Indiana. Other species include field sparrow and brown thrashers. The park is also home to many non-releasable birds of prey, such as hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls. 

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5 Awesome Campgrounds for Families in Indiana Nothing says summer in Indiana like camping. Whether it is taking out the RV, staying in a cabin, or sleeping in a tent under the stars, Indiana has some of the best, family-friendly campgrounds to offer in the Midwest. Keep in mind that some of these parks have their specific seasons for when they open and close, so be sure to check before making a reservation. Check out these five awesome campgrounds for families in Indiana and start planning your trip! 

Located on the beautiful, sandy shores of Lake Shafer, Indiana Beach provides hours of fun and entertainment for families of all ages, and has been since it first opened in 1927. Not only does this amazing water park provide thrilling rides and amazing food, Indiana Beach is also home to some beautiful campgrounds as well. Guests have their picks of an RV site, tent campsite, or a cabin. Some amenities include a swimming pool (with a kiddie pool), miniature golf, lake access, three playgrounds, and game barn. As part of accommodations, guests also have access to the free, old-world style ferry boat to take them to the amusement park, in addition to a trolley.

Located in northeast Indiana on Lake Pleasant, Manapogo Park is a beautiful destination for all the campers. It is mostly an RV and pop-up tent campground spot. However, they do have rustic cabins available as well. There is always something to do at Manapogo Park. With activities such as basketball, volleyball, and a fenced-in playground, this is the perfect place for the family. Parents can enjoy spending time on the beach while the little ones splash in the waves. If fishing is your thing, Manapogo Park has some of the best fishing spots around. If you are looking for something to do outside the campground, consider going to the Shipshewana flea market, which is about a 30-minute drive away.

We definitely were some #HappyCampers. #ThisWasFun #Throwback 🏕

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Owners Dan and Cyndee Gillmore are committed to providing a beautiful place to relax and have some good old-fashioned family fun at the Cornerstone Campground. With so many activities to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to do first! Cornerstone Campground offers swimming pools, ball courts, playgrounds, ping pong tournaments, movie nights, and more! This is the place to be with your family this summer. If you are a company, consider Cornerstone Campground for future company retreats. Your employees will thank you!

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Once the kids see this spot, they’ll never want to leave! For starters, the wide range of activities on the site include special weekend events, a jumping pillow, inflatable water toys, a water trampoline, and a beautiful sandy beach. The restrooms are clean, the showers are hot, and there are even laundry facilities! At this campground, you can stay over in your RV or tent. There are also rentals available for 24 and 30-foot yurts, as well as cabins.

Oh how I've missed these summer nights .. 🏕🔥😌 #camplife

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Another New Castle family favorite is the Walnut Ridge Campground. Walnut Ridge is the place to go if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing, family-friendly camping experience. Whether you are a seasonal camper or you’re just staying for a few days, there are a variety of camping options to choose from here at Walnut Ridge. The activities are endless as well, with corn hole tournaments, pitch in dinners, karaoke, and golf cart races! Looking to do something outside the campground? Walnut Ridge is within driving distance to places such as the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, historic New Castle, and the Big Blue River. 

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7 Best Motorsport Retailers in Indiana Across Indiana, you’ll find retailers offering the latest and greatest in ATVs, UTVs, and more! Whether you’re looking for the newest offering from Polaris or a dirt bike to get flying through the trails, there’s something in Indiana for you. Get started on your adventure with these seven best motorsport retailers in Indiana. 

Part of the Badlands Off Road Park in Attica, Indiana, is Adventure Rentals, the top ATV and UTV rental destination in Indiana. In addition to renting out ATV and UTVs, Adventure Rentals also offers self-guided onRoad Tours, which take you on two different tours: The Nature Tour, navigating through Fall Creek Gorge and Portland Arch Nature Preserve. You can also stop at the ruins of Mudlavia Hotel, rumored to be haunted. Visitors can also rent an ATV or UTV and take the Covered Bridge Tour, which takes you through the seven covered bridges in Indiana. There are six different vehicles available to rent, so what are you waiting for? Book your ATV or UTV today and start your adventure!

Head on over to Tom Wood Powersports in Anderson, Indiana, for a new or used ATV, UTV, or other off-road vehicles. Tom Wood has been in business for over 50 years, and is the place for all your powersport needs. They also have a great service and parts department. Take a look at the new Honda TRX 90X in cherry red or a new Kawasaki KLR 650. Tom Wood Powersports has it all!

At Bloomington Powersports in southern Indiana, there are six principles to accomplish their objective, which is helping customers fuel their passion: have fun, over deliver, be transparent, take responsibility, build relationships, and relish the inconveniences. Offering new and pre-owned vehicles, Bloomington Powersports has a great selection of off-road vehicles for sale, such as a 2017 Kawasaki Brute Force 300. Bloomington Powersports also has a great parts and accessories section as well, in addition to a fantastic service department. 

Newburgh Powersports in Newburgh, Indiana, is Indiana’s top Honda and Polaris dealer. Locally owned and operated, the staff here have a combined 70 years of experience in the powersports business. Each customer is treated as an individual, and the staff works hard to ensure that each customer is properly fitted to their equipment. They also have a service department on site, and each service technician has the highest certification possible. 

Whether you are looking for a new motorcycle, ATV, or other off-roading vehicle, Dreyer Motorsports in Indianapolis is the place to go. Not only do they sell off-road vehicles, they also have a great selection of parts to choose from as well. Dreyer’s has been in business since 1958, making it the oldest Honda dealer in the U.S. Whatever you prefer, there is something for everyone at every level here at Dreyer’s.  

Another great spot in Indiana to buy off-road vehicles is Frazier Motorsports in Mishawaka, Indiana. Inventory includes a selection of dirt bikes, Kawasaki ATVs, and a variety of UTVs. Owners Tim and Lisa do their best to assist each customer with choosing a vehicle to fit their needs and style, and pride themselves in offering the best customer service possible.

Westfield Powersports is ready to send you on your way in style. Find excellent brands like Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, and Polaris. Choose from a selection of dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, and more. You’ll have so much to choose from, it’ll be tough to make a decision. 

Nearly every color, style, and size of 2018 @flyracingusa gear now in stock.

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